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Old 08-03-2022, 11:07 PM   #11
Pursuivant
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Default Re: [Space] [Racial Templates] Really Alien Aliens

Quote:
Originally Posted by ericthered View Post
That's some nice thought... it still doesn't deal with the fact that the second extra mouth is a great deal more useful than the tenth, or the 100th.
An alternate way of handling this is following a number progression similar to that for Extra Legs. For example, 2, 3, 4-5, 6-9, 10+
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Old 08-03-2022, 11:16 PM   #12
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Default Re: [Space] [Racial Templates] Really Alien Aliens

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Originally Posted by SydneyFreedberg View Post
I’ll ponder Triphibians too; though I quite like them all having Absolute direction, I can see the mental disadvantages might be overdone.
Move the ones that aren't core to your species concept to Optional Disadvantages. That means many members of the species might have this trait, but it's not universal.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SydneyFreedberg View Post
A question about Striders: Is there any way to depict a large herbivore like this without buying up ST so high?
Lifting ST. That suits a massive race with great load-bearing abilities but not a whole lot of combat ST.

Think:

a) "How nasty is this species when making unarmed or melee combat attacks?" That's your base ST.
b) "How much can this species lift?" and/or "How nasty is this species with grappling attacks? That's Lifting ST.
c) "How much physical damage can this species survive? That's HP + Extra HP.

Also, are you taking the discount to ST for Size into account? An elephant-like SM 2-3 creature will get a -20% or -30% discount to ST because they make a big target and can't lever themselves into small spaces to use that strength effectively. The same applies to Lifting ST and Extra HP.

So, ST 20 [100 points] might become ST 14 (Limitation: SM 3, -30%) [28]; Lifting ST 6 (Limitation: SM 3, -30%) [21]; Extra HP 6 (Limitation: SM 3, -30%) [9] = 58 points.

Last edited by Pursuivant; 08-03-2022 at 11:25 PM.
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Old 08-03-2022, 11:30 PM   #13
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Join Date: Apr 2005
Default Re: [Space] [Racial Templates] Really Alien Aliens

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Originally Posted by SydneyFreedberg View Post
PS: I just realized — if the Sessiles are filter feeders, and they feed through their tendrils (the upside down jellyfish part), why did I give them mouths?
From the original build, I assumed that they were filter feeders which could also grab and eat whatever happened to be floating/swimming by, like an octopus.

Filter feeding definitely qualifies them for Increased Life Support. You have to dump suitable food into their life support tanks and wait for them to filter it. Not as convenient as portable foodstuffs.

OTOH, a ship run by a sessile crew could just have a water-filled environment where nutrients are pumped into the water as needed, allowing the crew to eat as they work.
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Old 08-04-2022, 11:32 AM   #14
ericthered
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Default Re: [Space] [Racial Templates] Really Alien Aliens

Quote:
Originally Posted by SydneyFreedberg View Post

As for Striders:

Good thoughts. Striders ecology and psychology are modeled on real-world elephants , so while they’re less ornery than “peaceful” herbivores like the Cape Buffalo or hippopotamus (who will kill you for getting too close), if Striders decide you’re a threat to the herd, especially their young, they WILL stomp you flat.

And the current build — ST20 for the average female — does let them do that. Plus it gives them enough hit points a single hit from a blaster pistol won’t drop them. So ST20 means they are less likely to get mugged in bad neighborhoods outside the spaceport, a non-negligible advantage for a spacefaring race.

The current build also gives them human-normal “arm” strength (ST10 average female, ST8 average male) because their prehensile tongue has the “weak” limitation. So no wielding .50 cals or zweihanders.

Now, EricTheRed’s idea of buying up ST with a “no fine manipulators” limitation would save a lot more points than putting “weak” on a single limb. But since they do have ONE fine manipulator, I’m not sure it’s legal…unless I’m misunderstanding how that works as a temporary disadvantage?

Two builds to illustrate the difference:


No Hands [20]:

+10 ST (No Fine Manipulators -40%, SM+1 -10%) [50]
No Fine Manipulators (no manipulators) [-30]



Weak Hands [60]:
+10 ST (Temporary Disadvantage, No Fine Manipulators -30%, SM+1 -10%) [60]


In the "No Hands" build, you have No Fine Manipulators as a permenant disadvantage, and you additionally get the limitation on ST for NFM, because you have No Fine Manipulators . That limitation is -40%, because that's the value of the No Fine Manipulators limitation.



In the "Weak Hands" build, you have No Fine Manipulators as a temporary disadvantage on your ST: you can't use that ST with your manipulators. That limitation is -30%, because No Fine manipulators is [-30] points. You don't have the No Fine Manipulators advantage, and don't get the No Fine Manipulators limitation on ST.


I hope this helps.
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Old 08-04-2022, 11:56 AM   #15
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Default Re: [Space] [Racial Templates] Really Alien Aliens

Ok, I think I get it. Question: How does the “weak hands” build interact with the “weak” limitation on the limb itself? Taking both seems exploitive… and arguably putting “weak” on the limb is the “right” way to do it, even though it saves a lot less points, simply because it’s explicitly an option in the rules
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Old 08-04-2022, 12:23 PM   #16
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Default Re: [Space] [Racial Templates] Really Alien Aliens

Quote:
Originally Posted by SydneyFreedberg View Post
Ok, I think I get it. Question: How does the “weak hands” build interact with the “weak” limitation on the limb itself? Taking both seems exploitive… and arguably putting “weak” on the limb is the “right” way to do it, even though it saves a lot less points, simply because it’s explicitly an option in the rules
If you use one, you should not be using the other.

Yes, I'm advocating for not using the "weak" limitation on arms. Gurps is not perfect. Some builds are munchkin point crocks, and others are woefully inefficient. A single weak arm is woefully inefficient. To the point where it makes concepts not viable. "Weak" still has a legitimate use for on extra arms that are weaker than the main arm.
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Old 08-04-2022, 04:47 PM   #17
SydneyFreedberg
 
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Default Re: [Space] [Racial Templates] Really Alien Aliens

Thanks to all for your input. Revised stats for 4 of the 5 Quartet racial templates follow below -- the only one that's not changed is the Armstrongs, so if anyone has any comment on those catnapping ambush predators, I'd love to hear it.

Changes in brief:
Striders (both genders) get discounted ST instead of just "weak" on their one arm, dropping point cost.
Sessiles lose their mouths (I guess they speak by sign language?), a point of IQ, and the Invertebrate trait (which mainly did weird things to basic lift), but gain the ability to produce milk. Also I reshuffle how I represent their filter feeding from Increased Consumption to just another level of Increased Life Support. Cost rises by 1 point.
Triphibians go from Amphibious to Semi-Aquatic, dropping their ground move dramatically to reflect their awkward wing-walking -- they are still very fast in the air and underwater -- and their prehensile mandibles are now more reasonably represented as One Arm. In compensation, Curious and Impulsive move from mandatory traits to Common Optional ones. Cost drops 10 points.


Female Strider (105 points)
Spoiler:  


Male Strider (121 points)
Spoiler:  


Armstrongs (62 points)
Spoiler:  


Sessiles (25 points)
Spoiler:  


Triphibians (15 points)
Spoiler:  

Last edited by SydneyFreedberg; 08-04-2022 at 04:48 PM. Reason: formatting
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Old 08-05-2022, 11:18 AM   #18
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Default Re: [Space] [Racial Templates] Really Alien Aliens

I'm not sure if it's been mentioned, but be really careful with handing out more than one level of Racial Charisma or Talent. Move the more "uber" traits to optional or demote them to Quirks, or Perks.

Remember, things that define a species don't necessarily apply to individuals. Humans are warlike, but individual humans might be pacifists. Humans are social, but individual humans might be loners.

Based on those thoughts, seriously consider toning down the Strider charisma bonuses and perhaps eliminating them for females. Maybe move the male Smooth Operator talent to optional. A species with racial Bloodlust and a potential Reputation for genocide isn't exactly going to put members of other species at their ease.

On a game mechanical level, consider that +3 for Charisma and +1 for Smooth Operator automatically guarantees no Reaction modifier of worse than Poor (i.e., very little chance of betray or hostility), a typical Reaction of Good, and a strong possibility of a Very Good reaction. That mean that your typical random alien will really like any male strider, even the nerds and psychologically screwed up ones (assuming Striders allow such individuals out in public). The really talented ones can charm just about anyone.

While individual Striders might be socially gifted, it seems a bit extreme to make the entire species that good. Logical reasons to do so would be if you're designing a natural "diplomat" species or a species which represents a real challenge for opposing social influence users.

Mind you, I'm not telling you you're wrong, just that there might be some game balance problems with your current Strider build.
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Old 08-05-2022, 03:35 PM   #19
SydneyFreedberg
 
Join Date: May 2019
Default Re: [Space] [Racial Templates] Really Alien Aliens

Good point that Charisma +3 shifts the Reaction table one result up, which is potentially overpowered even for the “natural diplomats”/social engineering masters that the male Striders are evolved to be…. especially since they have another +3 from racial Reputation with most inhabitants of the galaxy. (Though those who resent Quartet influence react to them at -4). I think I should dial male Striders down a bit: maybe Charisma down to 2, with higher levels in Common Optional Traits, and definitely moving the “Smooth Operator” talent to Common Optional Traits.

But the Striders are supposed to be softly superpowered in terms of social skills — it’s the secret of their success as a species. Basically, I’d say the +1 charisma both genders get reflects that they have really good mirror neurons (or whatever alien equivalent) and socialize well with all species. The males get an extra +1 (or more) on Charisma because the ones that didn’t have it didn’t get to mate…. And then the racial Reputation is largely the females’ collective contribution: Everyone in the galaxy will see a 9-foot-tall armless biped coming and think, “oh wow, it’s a Strider, they’re reliable trade partners, they’re rich and powerful, and if you **** them off too bad they stomp you flat… from orbit.”

Last edited by SydneyFreedberg; 08-05-2022 at 03:36 PM. Reason: Typo
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Old 08-06-2022, 04:01 PM   #20
SydneyFreedberg
 
Join Date: May 2019
Default Re: [Space] [Racial Templates] Really Alien Aliens

Talents! I decided some of my species could use custom Talents as Common Optional Traits, to reflect things they tend to be good at relative to humans. What do folks think of:

Strider Herd Traditions (+5/level): Administration, Diplomacy, Hiking, Leadership, Singing.

Triphibian Mobility (+5/level): Acrobatics: Aerobatics, Flight, Navigation: Air, Navigation: Undersea*, Swimming.
* New skill: Navigating underwater, largely by ocean currents and seafloor "landmarks." Defaults to Submarine-5.

Armstrong Ambush Arts (+10/level): Brawling, Camouflage, Light Walk, Observation, Stealth, Tactics, Traps, Wrestling.

I almost gave the Armstrongs "Leadership" as well, but I realize that conflicts with them having Mild Shyness as a default trait... maybe I should make that a Common Optional trait so they can have leader-types?



Also, I revised the male Strider as per Pursuivant's suggestions: Charisma bonus drops from +3 to +2 (still impressive considering it's the minimum a functional adult can have), while Smooth Operator talent moves to Common Optional Traits. Plus they now have "Talent: Alien Friend" (from Space) as Common Optional as well. Point cost drops by 25.

Male Strider (101 points)
Spoiler:  
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